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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Phuket pubs, bars to stay closed for July 1 Sandbox reopening

    PHUKET: Patong Mayor Chalermsak Maneesri has confirmed that pubs, bars and other entertainment venues across Phuket will be closed for the July 1 reopening of the island to receiving vaccinated international tourists.

    “For the entertainment venues in Phuket, from a meeting of [Phuket] officials, they altogether agreed to keep the venues closed in the first period of July, as we had a cluster from that kind of venue.


    “Phuket Governor and the TAT Governor have not allowed them to open,” Mayor Chalermsak told The Phuket News earlier today (June 10).


    Mayor Chalermsak, who took office only on Apr 28, plainly admitted the current economic situation in what was once Phuket’s busiest tourism town.


    “The economic situation in Patong is very bad right now,” he said.


    Mayor Chalermlask said that he was to meet representatives from hotels in Patong today “to share their problems and what they want the municipality [to do] to help to welcome tourists”.


    “So far to support the Phuket Sandbox, our staff have gone out and knocked on people’s doors and encouraged them to register and get vaccinated in order to complete vaccinations of 70% of the people on the island. I have gone to facilitate the vaccination at Jungceylon shopping mall every day,” he said.




    “We will send staff to hotels and other places to check whether staff at those places are vaccinated or not, to ensure that not only that they are kept safe, but also that tourists are kept safe,” he said.


    “For entertainment venues, from the meeting with Phuket Governor and TAT Governor, the venues will remain closed for the first period of Phuket Sandbox because recently there has been a cluster from those types of establishments,” he confirmed.


    “To develop Patong, I will try to finish the resurfacing of the beachfront road before the new year, as after we had the electricity cables [and communications cables] installed under the ground, the road was damaged a lot,” Mayor Chalermsak said.


    “I will also make the view of the beach better, by clearing the signs and cleaning up the beach. Right now, it is monsoon season, we will have a lot of marine trash wash ashore,” he added.


    “I will develop environmental tourism and start by creating a footpath from the Seaview Patong Hotel [at the southern end of Patong Beach] to Tri Trang Beach and make the area into a botanic garden. The request to the use the land has been already filed with the national government,” Mayor Chalermsak said.


    “Additionally, I will try my best to help vendors and business operators by negotiating for discounts on ground rents, so they can keep their business going,” he added.


    Phuket pubs, bars to stay closed for July 1 Sandbox reopening

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat TheRealKW's Avatar
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    All good then

  3. #3
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    "pubs, bars and other entertainment venues " which is exactly where foreigners want to go at night for some fun!

  4. #4
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    The whole of Bangkok, Thailand's primate city and driver of its entire economy, the seat of the country's administration, the centre of its entire manufacturing sector with nigh on 80% of the country's factories concentrated within a 40 mile radius and the nerve centre of the national transport network, is now rancid with any number of COVID variants that has seen 5,000 new cases a day, 1,200 patients in a critical condition and 400 on ventilators, and these fucking idiots are still wittering on about a piffling holiday destination and attracting tourists.

    The dumb fucks don't realise Thailand is teetering on the edge of being declared a 'red zone' country and excluded from travel into Europe.

  5. #5
    On a walkabout Loy Toy's Avatar
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    Yet I don't know anyone personally who has contracted the virus in Thailand.

    I move between Bangkok and Pattaya regularly due to work commitments, meet up with many people at different locations and not one of them know anyone personally who has contracted the virus.

    This is like a surreal bad nightmare that never ends.

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat

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    I don't think you understand. The greater majority of the cases within the population will either be asymptomatic or mild. For reasons no-one knows not only will those with weakened immune systems be more likely to suffer more but a cohort with no known underlying condition will develop a full blown cytokine storm ravaging their body which will kill them. This is the threat of this virus.

    It's a lottery of death for sure for many worldwide.

    Incidentally, I think I caught it last year and I know others who all manifested similar, if not exactly identical, symptoms. In the absence of any reliable and available antibody test who knows for sure...

  7. #7
    Hangin' Around cyrille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seekingasylum View Post
    Incidentally, I think I caught it last year and I know others who all manifested similar, if not exactly identical, symptoms.
    A powerful sense of enervation, combined with endless moaning and a complete inability to see how your inert whinging reflects badly on you?

  8. #8
    Thailand Expat

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    No, inter alia, it was an all pervading sense of utter futility stemming from the inescapable realisation that the greater majority of Thaiphiles postulating in the cybersphere are fucking idiots, as so ably represented by your good self.

  9. #9
    Thailand Expat Slick's Avatar
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    They really are flopping hard with this initiative, which is great if you ask me. Having almost the whole of phuket available to you without tourists is fantastic.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    For the entertainment venues in Phuket, from a meeting of [Phuket] officials, they altogether agreed to keep the venues closed in the first period of July, as we had a cluster from that kind of venue.
    In other words, Phuket is not really open. They have to show that they are trying, I suppose. Will restaurants be serving alcohol?

    Some people are preparing for visitors. My friend there told me he had seen a few Russian girls newly arrived, they obviously think customers are coming.

  11. #11
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    Remains to be seen whether they will permit alcohol sales in restaurants again for the 1st July opening. Many bars operate as restaurants also, as I'm sure they do everywhere else. Certainly not all, but some restaurants are providing the 'overlarge teacups', the same as when elections/religious days are held.

  12. #12
    Hangin' Around cyrille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shutree View Post
    My friend there told me he had seen a few Russian girls newly arrived, they obviously think customers are coming.
    They'll be disappointed at the pubs being shut, then.

    Why would a vaccinated tourist want to come to a place with no social life?

    Admittedly I'd skip Cornwall for the next week, but after that surely even the UK coast is more attractive for a Brit...and most other countries will have their equivalent.

    The alternative of two weeks with a virtual ankle monitor in Phuket then possibly two weeks of self isolation upon return seems about as attractive as a Blackpool hooker.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by PAG View Post
    Remains to be seen
    So much is uncertain. If I were a Brit at home in the UK planning my summer holiday I can see a list of reasons why Phuket is not my best choice. I think I'd take a shorter flight to Greece where I know I'll have summer sunshine, nice beaches, great food and wine.

    A thought I had, which could go in any number of threads really, is about the broad tourism philosophy.

    There are about 3 million foreign residents here, most of us waiting for vaccine with my most likely outcome being October if I am lucky and pay B3,800 or next year and still pay, possibly. Those 3 million foreigners have friends back home who might reach out to them for an opinion about Thailand as a holiday destination this year, let's call that 50 million potential travellers.

    If the Thai government had been courteous and treated me in the same way that the UK NHS treats Thai nationals there, I'd probably be more of an enthusiatic ambassador for Thailand. At the moment I am frankly downright grumpy and if anyone asks me for an opinion on the Phuket it will be a short answer they receive.

    They seem not interested in leveraging their 3 million foreign residents. It would be nice if, for once, they didn't treat us like dross.

    A mate in Penang got his AZ jab yesterday.

  14. #14
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PAG View Post
    Remains to be seen whether they will permit alcohol sales in restaurants again for the 1st July opening.
    If they do it just for Phuket and exclude the rest of the country it won't go down well.

  15. #15
    Thailand Expat TheRealKW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loy Toy View Post
    Yet I don't know anyone personally who has contracted the virus in Thailand.

    I move between Bangkok and Pattaya regularly due to work commitments, meet up with many people at different locations and not one of them know anyone personally who has contracted the virus.

    This is like a surreal bad nightmare that never ends.
    So what? You personally don’t know anyone who has contracted the virus, what does that mean? Do you think it proves anything other than how myopic your world view is? I know/knew a bloke in Thailand who not only contracted it but died too, I know another healthy young(ish) bloke who passed away in Indonesia from it. I know of a mother currently in an induced coma in Malaysia due to COVID and another work colleague is currently in a quarantine center for positive patients and both her parents in hospital positive after her older Aunt passed away from COVID and related illnesses last week.

    The disease is real, LT.

  16. #16
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loy Toy View Post
    Yet I don't know anyone personally who has contracted the virus in Thailand.

    I move between Bangkok and Pattaya regularly due to work commitments, meet up with many people at different locations and not one of them know anyone personally who has contracted the virus.

    This is like a surreal bad nightmare that never ends.
    Why don't you go down to one of the markets or slums in Khlong Toey and see if you get the same response?

  17. #17
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    Or, rather than slumming it, one could simply pop along to the Thonglor Police HQ and enquire as to the total numbers of their personnel infected since April following the revelation that two exclusive clubs in their patch proved to be the Petri dish for the 'third wave'.

    I have to say though that I am astonished anyone would be so foolhardy as to travel frequently to Bangkok regularly without first being vaccinated.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    “For the entertainment venues in Phuket, from a meeting of [Phuket] officials, they altogether agreed to keep the venues closed in the first period of July, as we had a cluster from that kind of venue.
    What does "first period of July " mean? what is a period of July? or do they mean for the month of July and then they will reassess

  19. #19
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buckaroo Banzai View Post
    What does "first period of July " mean? what is a period of July? or do they mean for the month of July and then they will reassess
    They mean when they feel like it.

  20. #20
    Hangin' Around cyrille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seekingasylum View Post
    I have to say though that I am astonished anyone would be so foolhardy as to travel frequently to Bangkok regularly without first being vaccinated.
    But if one had to pick one poster...

  21. #21
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Lower hopes for Phuket


    HUKET: The Phuket sandbox tourism scheme faces a chaotic approval process as the government is still struggling to fine-tune the balance between public health and the economy.

    Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha reasserted that the reopening plan for the island, known as the Phuket sandbox, will start on July 1 after it was approved in principle by the Centre for Economic Situation Administration (CESA) on June 4.


    However, it still requires confirmation from the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), which scheduled a meeting on June 18, before submission to the cabinet for final approval on June 22.

    Yuthasak Supasorn, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) governor, said the last step is publication in the Royal Gazette, which should be announced in the final week of June to meet the scheme timeline.


    The CCSA and CESA were established to tackle urgent tasks concerning the spread of COVID-19 and the economic impact in the country.


    This agenda has already been discussed on several occasions, including in meetings with subcommittees of CCSA and the Department of Disease Control.


    Following those discussions, the entry procedures saw a major revamp in recent weeks, such as the extension of the mandatory stay in Phuket from 7 days to 14 days, as well as the requirement for three COVID swab tests.


    Surapong Techaruvichit, managing director at Asia Hotel Group, said the international market might gradually pick up to 30-40% of 2019 levels by the middle of next year, but a total recovery remains far off as long as the government tries to find the right balance between health and the economy.


    “We have to operate the sandbox as if we are starting from zero. Some provinces trying to reopen may find local tourists shy away from their destinations,” he said.


    “It might take some time to build up tourism confidence.”

    Regarding the CCSA decision to end state quarantine (SQ) facilities for Thai returnees from July, Mr Surapong said not many SQ hotels remain as occupancy plunged following the third wave.


    Some SQ hotels, like the Asia Hotel Pattaya, have transformed into “hospitels”, which are projected to receive fewer guests in the coming months if the vaccine rollout continues to administer more than 200,000 doses per day, as happened this week.


    “Even though we joined both the SQ and hospitel programmes in the past year, most properties could not post a profit. It just reduced the cash burn rate per month,” he said.


    “The best we can hope for now is domestic tourists returning in October.”


    Mr Yuthasak said the TAT acknowledges there is growing concern and discontent among the private sector about the additional measures for tourist destinations to reopen, which could discourage visitors in the initial stages.


    He insisted the tighter screening measures are necessary, as the Public Health Ministry stressed no tourist should be infected while roaming the island.


    “We should accept an influx of tourists is unlikely in the third quarter. This sandbox scheme was established as a test run, which means it is a gradual process where we determine the best practices to allow other destinations to follow suit,” said Mr Yuthasak.


    “It is better to be selective in the beginning rather than risk losing our reputation if tourists acquire the virus while here or at their origin country.”


    Lower hopes for Phuket

  22. #22
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Tourism Minister reportedly says July 1 ‘sandbox’ won’t happen


    UPDATE


    By the conclusion of a meeting in Phuket this afternoon the only confirmation was that the July 1 date for a re-opening of Thailand, via the Phuket sandbox was “still on”, according to Bill Barnett from c9hotelworks.com who attended the meeting. More details when they emerge. Bottomline, nothing is confirmed until the Thai Cabinet discusses the issue, probably Tuesday, and then gets rubber-stamped in the Royal Gazette.





    UPDATE


    The governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand Yuthasak Supasorn has pulled out of a meeting this afternoon which was to be the announcement of all the details for the Sandbox plan – the reopening ‘plan’ for Thai tourism. The meeting also had the Phuket Governor and the president of the local chapter of the TAT in attendance.




    ORIGINAL STORY


    With all the hullabaloo around the July 1 Phuket Sandbox reopening that will definitely maybe possibly probably not surely happen, newsreaders should be prepared for a month of flip-flopping, confusing, and contradicting stories. Today Siam Rath reported that Thailand’s Tourism Minister has commented that the reopening will not happen on July 1.


    At a meeting of tourism officials in Bangkok including the deputy governor of Surat Thani and representatives from Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao, Thailand Tourism Minister Pipat Ratchakitprakan was quoted by Siam Rath as saying that Phuket is unlikely to be ready to reopen by the first of next month. He reportedly stated that reopening will happen on August 1 instead.


    The Thaiger hasn’t been able to independently verify the comment.


    The representatives from the eastern islands proposed a Samui Sealed Route plan that would create a corridor between Phuket and the islands. They suggested arriving tourists could spend July 1 to 7 in Phuket and then board a Bangkok Airways flight straight to Koh Samui, where they could spend their second week.



    Travellers would be tested 3 times as originally proposed, but now in Phuket and Samui, and then be free to travel in the rest of Thailand after the 2 weeks. The plan would spread tourism revenue around the country a bit, but also soften the blow of the 2 week waiting period by allowing tourists to wait in 2 locations.


    But when they proposed the plan, the Tourism Minister reportedly responded by saying the idea was good, but Phuket was not ready yet for reopening. He was quoted as saying that the plan could be launched starting August 1 instead.


    This startling revelation, while not at all an official announcement, is very contrary to a concerted push by government officials to charge full steam ahead on the Phuket Sandbox reopening scheme, despite a growing list of factors fighting against the plan. The estimate of returning travellers entering Thailand via Phuket was recently reduced again, this time halved to about 14,000 people as vaccine delays, increased restrictions, and bar closures dissuade people from visiting.


    NOTE: The Thaiger believes that the Sandbox plan WILL go ahead, no matter what. There is now too much political capital and face invested in the scheme for it to fail. We will see.


    UPDATE: Tourism Minister reportedly says July 1 'sandbox' won't happen | Thaiger

  23. #23
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    SNAFU

  24. #24
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    If they vaccinate all these people as they promised, and keep the island isolated, there is no reason why they can't open on July 1st.

    Having said that, if they met these criteria there is no reason why they have this absurd "SHA" list either, just lining pockets is all.

    Not that it bothers me, I wouldn't touch the place with a shitty stick.

  25. #25
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    If they vaccinate all these people as they promised, and keep the island isolated, there is no reason why they can't open on July 1st.

    Having said that, if they met these criteria there is no reason why they have this absurd "SHA" list either, just lining pockets is all.

    Not that it bothers me, I wouldn't touch the place with a shitty stick.
    Problem Harry is that their figures for vaccination were based on registered Thais on the island. A huge number of Thais are not registered, and we won't even go into the number of migrant workers, principally from Myanmar, and then a very large expat population. Whilst some previously closed hotels have made an effort to ready themselves (again, mainly Bangkok owned outlets), core street businesses haven't so the western coast facilities remain dead. Bars obviously, but also tourist orientated restaurants (regardless of the alcohol ban). You would struggle to find a 7/11 or Family Mart actually open in these towns. The weather is not conducive to lazy days on the beach at the moment, so, unless it was to touch base (literally and metaphorically) with a friend, why on earth would somebody want to holiday here.

    That said re your last comment, Phuket really is a great place to live. I've been to and visited quite a few places in Thailand, and enjoyed most of them for short visits. Always a difference between holidays and living somewhere of course. Personally, I've not been anywhere that offers the whole spectrum of infrastructure, lifestyle, scenery, shopping, dining and recreational options and general ease of living for a resident expat more than Phuket.

    Like many on the island, I don't agree with the 'Sandbox' principle. If Thailand isn't secure enough as a whole for admitting visitors. stay shut.

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